BMS3021 aims to illustrate the recent rapid advances provided by human genetics and molecular biology in our understanding of specific human diseases, and to discuss various biotechnological initiatives in treatment strategies that have resulted in significant improvements in patient prognosis. State-of-the-art developments in molecular medicine including transgenic models of human disease, gene therapy and delivery, as well as recent molecular developments in transplantation will be discussed.
In addition, likely future developments in the field will be presented, including emerging techniques and their potential impact on biotechnology research, industry, and clinical practice. A key concept will be the use of molecular biotechnology to design targeted therapies for the treatment of human disease and the use of structural biology in rational drug design. Specific aspects of biotechnology to be presented will include the production and use of recombinant proteins, antibody design, production and engineering, vaccine technology including DNA vaccines and commercialisation of specific biotechnological products and processes.
Prof Rob Pike
Professor Phil Bird
Prof Steve Bottomley
Dr Dena Lyras
A/Prof Robyn Slattery
|Dr Richard Loiacono||Dr Jenny Dyson|
Organisation of the unit
BMS3021 consists of 3 lectures per week and one 3 hour Small Group Activities session per week
The Small Group Activities consist of 3 modules (each of 4 weeks duration). All three modules are built around the development of effective and pertinent communication skills as a major learning objective.
- The Core module focuses on scientific abstract writing and oral presentation of research topics to scientists.
- The Research process module focuses on communicating science in simple English. The major focus is on interviewing a lab head followed by the design of a web page and delivery of a seminar based on the interview for a non-scientific audience.
- The Research-based selective module builds on skills acquired in the Core module to develop a more advanced skill set. Students are required to research and present both written and oral reports on a specific medical research area.
Molecular medicine from womb to tomb
- Introduction to Molecular Medicine and Biotechnology: Overview of the subject
- Introductory lecture on small group sessions
- Molecular mechanisms in development and differentiation
- Molecular and biomedical aspects of ageing
- Diseases of DNA repair and genomic instability
- Down syndrome - a developmental disorder with accelerated ageing
- Diseases of oxidative stress
- Key principles in Pharmacology
- Molecular aspects of drug action
- Drug discovery
- Pharmacogenetics - role in disease and drug therapy
- Physicochemical properties of drugs and clinical testing
- Drug development - from laboratory to clinic
- Chromosomal translocations and leukaemia: identification of novel therapeutic targets
- Skin cancer
- Solid tumours - renal carcinoma
- Recombinant proteins - state of the art, problems, new developments
- Antibodies, design production, engineering
- Peptides and derivatives as therapeutic agents
Lung and circulatory disease
- Coagulation and haemophilia
- Atherosclerosis and familial hypercholesterolaemia
- Familial haemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (FHL)
- Cystic fibrosis
Immunological aspects of molecular medicine
- Transplantation and autoimmunity
- Transgenic models of autoimmunity
- Lessons from animal models for manipulation of the immune system
Molecular aspects of protein misfolding diseases
- How do protein fold and misfold
- Prion proteins
- Neuroserpin and the serpinopathies
Molecular aspects of infectious diseases
- Intracellular pathogens - Bacillary dysentery (shigellosis)
- Extracellular pathogens - Botulism and tetanus
- Viral pathogens: Dengue haemorrhagic fever
- Molecular Medicine and Biotechnology: Where to now?